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Imperial Call put on the market; Gold Cup hero for Doncaster sales.

IMPERIAL CALL, winner of the 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup, is to be offered for sale at Doncaster later this month, writes Tony Smurthwaite.

His surprise appearance comes shortly after the retirement of Fergie Sutherland, the man who trained him for that memorable victory over Rough Quest, who went on to win the Grand National.

He is part of a draft of six horses entered for the one-day sale on June 29 by Lisselan Farms Ltd, based in Co Cork.

Sarah Lane, racing manager for Lisselan Farms, said: "We are a business-we bring along young horses-and we have to try and make money. Imperial Call won't go for nothing."

Sutherland trained two of the others in the draft, Go Go Gallant, a winner of five, and Tempo, a winner of three.

The others, all winners, are Gay Galant, who runs at Cork on Saturday, and Runaway Renegade, trained by Ray Hurley, plus Gaelic Probe, who is presently with Andrew Lee.

It is a rare event for a Gold Cup winner to be offered at public auction and, as a nine-year-old, Imperial Call is sure to draw considerable interest.

Lisselan Farms advertised Imperial Call as for sale earlier in his career, on the understanding Sutherland would continue to train him, and the lack of a deal has led to a readjustment in his reserve.

The consignment is a coup for Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, whose traditional forte has been selling stars of the future such as Red Rum, Rag Trade, Master Oats and Earth Summit.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Smurthwaite, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 1998
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